2018/10/02: Do airlines use these cost factors to calculate a rational price for my ticket? No. That is determined by Rudy the Fare Chicken, who decides the price of each ticket individually by pecking on a computer keyboard sprinkled with corn.
How might we best research this from our side—the one where humans use browsers and actually buy stuff? Is it possible to figure out how we're being profiled, if at all—and how might we do that? Are there shortcuts to finding the cheapest Amazon price for a given product, among all the different prices it presents at different times and ways on different browsers, to persons logged in or not? Is this whole thing so opaque that we'll never know much more than a damn thing, and we're simply at the mercy of machines probing and manipulating us constantly?
2018/9/18: For years, Facebook has publicly positioned its Messenger application as a way to connect with friends and as a way to help customers interact directly with businesses. But a new report from The Wall Street Journal today indicates that Facebook also saw its Messenger platform as a siphon for the sensitive financial data of its users, information it would not otherwise have access to unless a customer interacted with, say, a banking institution over chat. In this case, the WSJ report says not only did the banks find Facebook's methods obtrusive, but the companies also pushed back against the social network and, in some cases, moved conversations off Messenger to avoid handing Facebook any sensitive data. Among the financial firms Facebook is said to have argued with about customer data are American Express, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.
The report says Facebook was interested in helping banks create bots for its Messenger platform, as part of a big push in 2016 to turn the chat app into an automated hub of digital life that could help you solve problems and avoid cumbersome customer service calls. But some of these bots, like the one American Express developed for Messenger last year, deliberately avoided sending transaction information over the platform after Facebook made clear it wanted to use customer spending habits as part of its ad targeting business. In some cases, companies like PayPal and Western Union negotiated special contracts that would let them offer many detailed and useful services like money transfers, the WSJ reports. But by and large, big banks in the U.S. have reportedly shied away from working with Facebook due to how aggressively it pushed for access to customer data.
The interest on big data and open data is understandably growing all over the world. The combination of several technology innovations, in areas like social media, cloud computing, analytics, offer scenarios that we could hardly imagine in the past. And the trend toward greater transparency and openness that is being championed by many governments and
Facebook is working to spread its face-matching tools even as it faces heightened scrutiny from regulators and legislators in Europe and North America.
I'm a jerk about the environment. I'm a compulsive turner-off of appliances and turner-down of air conditioning and unplugger of adapters. My television...
The decision of Chipotle to make its product lines GMO-free is not most people's idea of a historic event, but for Monsanto and GMOs the situation looks ominous
There is an odd cadence to the debate on the National Security Agency spying on user data supplied by social media companies like Google and Facebook, as...
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It's a physics issue. Signals in modern devices are extremely high speed; the easiest and cheapest way to combat this is to bring components closer together. For example, the wireless radios, RAM, and processor in all modern phones exist as one chip. They essentially put the CPU and wireless magic on the same silicon die (or on a separate die in the same package) and pop a RAM chip on top ("Package on Package").
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Owners of Cisco/Linksys home routers got a nasty shock this week, when their devices automatically downloaded a new operating system, which locked out device owners. After the update, the only way to reconfigure your router was to create an account on Cisco's "cloud" service, signing up to a service agreement that gives Cisco the right
The Open Data initiative took another huge step forward yesterday (Thursday 3 November) with the launch of a new initiative that will enable consumers to gain unprecedented access to personal data from banks, utilities, telecoms providers and a range of other companies.
The majority of U.S. Internet users oppose advertisers' using their online browsing history to target ads to their interests. Still, many users appear amenable to being targeted with customized content from advertisers they specifically choose.
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